Danny de Hek 0:00
Hello, welcome along, I have a new guest, which I don’t know too well. I’ve actually first time I’ve actually had a video meeting together, but I’ve introduced as Wendy Lynn Johnson and we’re about are you based?
Danny de Hek 0:29
Excellent. I’m in Danny and I’m in New Zealand and introduce our guests. So what we’re doing and familiar with my podcast is I have 12 questions I asked my visitors, and we get straight into it before we find out who they are and what they do. So my first question on the card that even I don’t know what it is, what’s one thing you will never do again?
Danny de Hek 0:58
Brilliant!One, I should have asked near the end that that’s, that’s going to be an interesting story coming out. Yeah. Well, I’m going to pick a nother question. That’s question number one or leaving questions to go. Right. What three items would you take with you on a desert island?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 1:16
Desert Island? Oh, that’s interesting. Um, well say clean water. Um, my crystal. Ooh. And something to make a fire.
Danny de Hek 1:41
Fire. You can cook. You can eat your crystals over them. You might
Danny de Hek 1:48
That’s good. These questions are totally random. So I, myself don’t even know what’s coming up. Really? Next. thing. Okay, what is your favourite family holiday might be when you’ve had it. Probably not much holiday and going on at the moment, unfortunately. But what’s one that comes to mind?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 2:04
Thanksgiving. I have a big family Thanksgiving, where we just all come together and my kids really, really love it. Just it’s just really a fun time for us.
Danny de Hek 2:16
So cuz I’m in New Zealand, we have Christmas. We don’t have Thanksgiving. But I’m assuming Thanksgiving is a little bit before Christmas.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 2:23
It’s November. Yeah, the end of November, the last Thursday in November.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 2:34
Thanksgiving, you know, for my family, it really doesn’t have the traditional meaning to it. It’s really just the time that we all come together. And we have a big turkey feast, right? Turkey and a ham and we all just come together. And we all get in a group and talk about what we’re thankful for within the last year. And the things that happened for us. So for my family, that’s what Thanksgiving is.
Danny de Hek 2:57
I’m when I was in America. We are there at Halloween. And we have Halloween here in New Zealand but we don’t all dress up and get into it with the like this is 20 years ago. And I couldn’t believe it. The whole city was dressed up. It wasn’t like Flagstaff. They just near the Grand Canyon and just everyone gets into it. So I’ve assumed Thanksgivings. Similar everyone does it.
Danny de Hek 3:24
Yeah, not so much here. We just did Christmas. Right? If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? So you can only one more thing for the rest of your life? What’s it going to be?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 3:55
You know, my husband and I love to go out to a Mexican restaurant. So we’ll probably be something like nachos that he likes to order that we ordered together just because it’s a good memory.
Danny de Hek 4:04
Yeah, we had nachos for dinner last night ironically. Yes. And that’s cool. No to come together that one. Okay, so if you had a superpower, what one would you like to have in your possession?
Danny de Hek 4:28
See the future? I would I would name it what I would have guessed that one. See the future? Okay, so here’s a funny one species senior American, no pun intended. But if you ruled the world, what’s one thing you would change on day one?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 4:45
Oh my goodness. What would I change I don’t even know. You know, maybe, to do it, but just bring in more love somehow.
Danny de Hek 5:00
Yeah, that’s been began during the questions. It’s good. Do you collect anything? Do you have any hobbies? I bet you’re gonna say crystals.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 5:25
Oh yes, I do collect them. Um, so yes, that would probably be my collection. Yes.
Danny de Hek 5:30
So when I knew a guy that actually used to collect crystals, and he was moving home, and he said that was the biggest because he had these massive rocks. He had tonnes of them he that was as big as dilemma. When he was moving his hair. He’s gonna move this crystal wooden rock collection.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 6:04
Favourite games? You know? My granddaughter right now is really into hiding seek and we hide her stuffed animals. It’s kind of silly. We hide her stuffed animals and she plays hide and seek with them. So I don’t have to hide but I have to hide her toys.
Danny de Hek 6:23
All right. All right. Gee, I don’t know if you read. But have you got a favourite author?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 6:34
Abraham Hicks books. I don’t read a lot. But I’ve read a lot of those.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 6:57
Um, you know, I’ve just learned a lot of healing ways of helping other people heal through their books. And being I’m a life coach, and it’s helped me help other people a lot, as well as myself. Because you got to start with yourself first.
Danny de Hek 7:12
Because I was inside of people. And they had they don’t believe me. But I say I’ve never read a book in my life. Because I’m dyslexic, you see, and I I can read the words, but they just don’t get in. And recently I’ve been listening. About five years ago, I started listening to audiobooks. Yeah. And now I see when people would go to a movie. And they would come out and they say, Oh, I think the book was better. I could never understand that. The first book I ever listened to was actually from the guy from the red hot chilli peppers. I think it was at nikitos. And it was by Autobiography of what do they call it? And it was amazing. And I thought oh, look and see what people like reading. So yeah, so reading a book and getting to film it from it for me would do my hidden but now listening to them, I can see why people like reading.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 8:00
And I have listened to the audio and and use it as a guide actually, because I’m a lot like you. I’m not I’m not really big into reading books, but I do like audiobooks. Because I don’t have to read the same sentence 10 times.
Danny de Hek 8:12
I actually have one of the books I starting to listen to when I first got into it, I actually interviewed him about four podcasts ago. And it was brilliant. And he’s actually all about being brilliant. But it was quite nice to actually get the author of the book that I listened to about four times to come on and he asked him a question, but what I found funny was he he’s got six Amazon top sellers. And people gave him one star reviews. And the book he had was brian Michael Heppell, saying it wrong. Anyway, he was reading out the one star reviews he got and thinking the people for them, but his book was called flip it. And it’s talking about every negative opportunity to turn around to a positive. And I remember seeing him on LinkedIn reading as one star reviews and this made me laugh because it was exactly what the book was all about. He was putting it into practice. Actually, different story anyway. Okay, that’s good. Favourite author. What’s your proudest accomplishment? accomplishment not aloud to say children, because I’ve had people use that one before.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 9:23
Well, could it have to do with my children? I think my proudest accomplishment is that I raised them outside of a religion. I was raised in people.
Danny de Hek 9:34
Not many people would probably appreciate how hard that is so well done. I do. A good way to chat about this soon. Okay, so obviously COVID effective as quite dramatically in 2020. I’m a big traveller myself into about 35 countries. And I just got back from visiting China, Bangladesh and India about this time last year. So the question to you is, we’re in the world would you travel to next? I don’t know if you’re a big traveller.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 10:04
Not really, actually. Um, but I, the place I’ve always wanted to go is an only based off of pictures. I’ve seen Costa Rica and see some of the waterfalls they have there.
Danny de Hek 10:15
Yeah, it does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 10:35
I took I had made all of her meals and made her bed and cleaned her house for her every weekend. That was her. And what’s her friend?
Danny de Hek 10:48
Well think about the questions. Hopefully that gives people a little bit of an opportunity to get to know you. And it may be me. Wendy, tell us why we connected. We’re hanging around Facebook at the moment on a couple of Facebook groups. Like I caught you there chatting. So I asked you to come along into my podcast. So tell us what you’ve been doing and maybe let people know our background. And how can we common interest.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 11:13
Our common interest would be the Empowered ex- Jehovah’s Witnesses (Empowered Minds) group, I believe. We are 7000 members strong now as from last days. I was number number two, we’ve held cruises, that was a really a big blast. And they’ve done some other really amazing seminars that they’ve held and they plan to hold some more in the future. I am a certified life coach hypnotherapist. I’m also a Reiki Master, I do energy healing. If you want to find me, you can find me at wendyjohnsonslifecoaching.com, I offer a programme there for called transformational reprogramming for x, Jehovah’s Witnesses that want to move past all their fears and all of you know find new friends, because when you leave there, you leave there all alone, I really don’t have anybody, you know, nobody’s holding your hand. And it’s a really hard place to be. No, you have to start from the bottom, it’s like just being reborn into a new, making new dreams, even learning how to move forward and dreaming is a big deal for them. And looking for a life ahead.
Danny de Hek 12:29
Because I’ve been looking at a lot of newbies coming onto the Facebook group. And it actually blows me away, what stage they’re at. And it is kind of like judging where they’re at and had. And the big question that I’ve had to people in my life which commit suicide, my family, so my sister who was two years older than me, but my stepfather when I was nine, he was only in our life for a couple of years. But he got he suffered with depression. But in the organisation when you die then when you do them because they they felt they took your own life back then it was a sin and you had no respect for life. So then I date affected my sister, and in and when she got to about 14/15, she went way off the tracks and got into drugs and whole nine yards and eventually took her own life me but but the thing is, I see a lot of people who get kicked out of the organisation have no return. And unfortunately, a lot of them, there’s so many stories of these people actually taking their own lives. But then there’s no accountability from the organisation, because I’ve cast them out of the organisation. And I can see, you know, how this is how much it impacts people’s lives. So when you provide a platform, people go on there, and some of the comments, you’re going, oh my goodness, these people need help. Immediately. Yeah, and rarely do
Wendy Lynn Johnson 13:55
I know Rodney offers a programme within that group, too, that people can take in. It’s amazing. I actually took it. And I refer people to it often and to Rodney Allgood.
Danny de Hek 14:08
Because when I was first disfellowshipped, I remember going back to the hole. And I used to sit at the back of the congregation of the hall and every single meeting I’d just be crying all the way through it. Now people who know me, I’m quite a strong minded person, I’m very driven, high energy, extrovert if you want in there I am bawling my eyes out like a baby. And after four months, they must have felt like I were repentant or whatever it was, and they reinstated me. And it was a shortest time I’ve ever heard at that time of anyone going back into it. And then 12 months later, I stuffed up and got kicked out. But by that time I’d actually build a network of friends around me. And that was my saving grace in a way because but finding friends when you’ve been told before we got on here that everyone in the world is an enemy and untrustworthy. And they’re all going to do I think it’s very hard going out to the world actually building those friendships. So you’ve had to do that yourself. Yeah. What sort of techniques did you find?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 15:09
You know, I had young kids, and I chose to get them involved in sports was, which was a hard decision in itself, because I wasn’t sure I wasn’t totally damaging them there, because you’re warmed so heavily to not do that. which gave me an in with a lot of the parents. And I found myself getting really involved in their school activities. I was my son’s. Let’s see, he had a booster programme for fundraising for band, and I became the president of their booster programme, so that I can help them, do fundraisers. And I met a lot of people that way. And I am a lot of amazing people. And that really helped open my eyes that all these people that they called worldly, were horrible people, there was a lot of really amazing people out there that really wanted to help other people and other kids and make sure all of the kids got to participate in all the programmes that were available, that, you know, you had to pitch in a little bit of funds to be able to do it. And that really, really opened my eyes. And I built a lot of friendships that way. And I continue today, I like to do different types of fundraising and get involved in different areas and plan to continue doing all that.
Danny de Hek 16:22
Yeah, I went through a divorce at 40. And, and he and I were quite lonely. And I think loneliness is a real big thing. So then I started, I got onto dating sites, and his first thing you do is you think are going to find somebody asked, and that’s kind of me what’s missing in my life, but it doesn’t really work. Then I noticed on the dating site, they had an area where you could do events. So I started organising like a mountain biking event. But then every Saturday morning, we’d get like, six people come along six guys, no girls, and we’d go out biking, and then we’d sit there for a cup of coffee. And then I met this lady and I said, Why don’t you come along and have a cup of coffee for a walk and join us for a cup of coffee afterwards. And she goes on, like by myself, and I saw my dog. So then I changed the event to a mountain biking in a dog walking event. And ironically, 10 people tuned up ladies with dogs, and they liked the walking group. So then I said, Well, why don’t you come back and have a potluck dinner at my place tonight who’s doing anything and it all comes in on I’ve got nothing on. And then we sort of start building up a social group of 500 people in it. And we took them hiking, biking, we’d go out for dinners, everything you could think of and I just read anything from five to six events a week. But in the meantime, my loneliness went away because I was focused on helping other people’s loneliness.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 17:47
Yes, that was really key. That was really key for me. When I first left, the loneliness really took over, I found myself pregnant, out of wedlock, and then when I gave birth to my son, he only lived 13 days. So then I had to go through all of that, you know, alone with my three kids. And so when I finally got to a place where I felt like I could, I needed to reach out I needed to make friends I needed to, to learn how to heal myself. And that’s when I started doing some of the fundraising and getting all involved in that. And I started I took some life coaching courses, to heal myself to get through all of that. And in the meantime, my sister past that was a Jehovah’s Witness as well. So that that was an interesting process in itself as well. So yeah, there’s it’s really can be very lonely in the beginning. And if you don’t have somebody to help you even feel like there maybe is hope it can be very detrimental.
Danny de Hek 18:49
I think one thing I love my partner see what what what, what do people believe it? Like I said to people, I’m an ex, Jehovah’s Witness. Normally, if they have no knowledge of it, they go and what do they believe in and are in a little bit of a debate about doctrine. I got it. I’m not one anymore. I don’t believe that stuff anymore. And they go, what did you believe it and you go, Well, I couldn’t get away from it. Because what if you do have any beliefs and you want to believe in the as a creator and there’s a purpose? When you leave the Jehovah’s Witness faith, you can’t just jump ship and go to another faith. So now you just have to say, well, there’s no purpose in life. There’s no God, maybe there’s no greater force, whatever. whole new beliefs and then you’ve got no friends around you. You know, it’s, it’s not that easy. Just stopping everything and starting fresh at the age of 20 or 23 rules.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 19:44
I was 3032. Maybe? Yeah, I finally left I was I came and went a few times. I was just fellowshipped a few times and I’m 3032 I think I I left tonight. have not looked back. I helped other people. And yeah, it’s definitely a hard path to follow. It’s definitely worth it.
Danny de Hek 20:12
What advice would you give somebody I speaking on zoom to a young father the other day, and excuse me, I can’t remember the phrase, but as it p i, Mo, and they say they’re emotionally out, but physically in what’s that phrase?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 20:29
Something like what you just said. And I’ve been saying, he lm physically out mentally, again, p Oh, am I
Danny de Hek 20:39
right? And I thought, What do you say to them? What is that, and they said, Oh, I still got my family’s all in it. And I’m out of it emotionally. But I still go along to all the meetings. And this guy is speaking to he got baptised at 15. And I’m going, but then he, you know, because this is the thing, they hold your family around you, you know, and you know, you’re gonna lose your family, don’t communicate with them, and you’re isolated. And this is what makes you go back and serve God who’s a God of love. so confusing.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 21:10
Very confusing. When I left, my father is an elder, which is along the same lines as the preacher as you would know. And my mother and my sisters and brothers were all part of it. So when I chose to leave, I left with me and my three children. That was it. The rest of the people in the world that I knew, were all Jehovah’s Witnesses, all my friends growing up in high school, I really wasn’t allowed to have friends outside of high school because I was an elders daughter, I had to set the example. I became a regular pioneer. So I did the door to door thing for 90 hours a month. For years, I quit High School, to be a Jehovah’s Witness, and to set that example that my father wanted me to set, um, which, you know, became, you know, it could have really hindered me in life. I got really lucky. And I opened my own business. Just before I chose to leave, and I ran an in home childcare. I was licenced for 12 kids for 23 years, I was able to sustain my lifestyle with my three kids and race them that way. So I got really lucky because I wasn’t educated. And then when I did leave, I chose to be certified in many different modalities to help other people heal.
Danny de Hek 22:23
Yeah. Funny thing because I live Scott 14. And a lot of people go 14, I go, Yeah, well, I’m, I turned 15 over the school holidays. So technically, I left at 14 but an educated in I think the amount of window cleaners, commercial cleaners, carpet cleaners, as a painter and a decorator, the teen years. You know, those are the jobs that you can stop and start on a rainy day, because I was only an exemplary pioneer. So 60 hours a month, 90 is pure dedication. It used to be 100 at one stage, and it’s gone back to 90 than that.
Danny de Hek 23:01
Yeah, it’s good. But he didn’t have a job. You know, it was a proper education was frowned on. If you went to university, you were obviously building a life for you, yourself in the world. And everything has gone to like right now, the Jehovah’s Witness organisation must be thinking all will tell everyone the end is near. Because even COVID must be like, Oh, it’s another sign of peace and answers. And, you know, and I remember I remember back in 19, I think, in the 1970s, I think it was that people were selling their houses and putting it on the line to preach because the world was going to come to a sudden in. And now 50 4050 years later.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 23:40
Yeah, yeah, my girlfriend and I were talking about that this morning. Um, how people were in the 70s. were charging up all their credit cards. Yeah, because the end was here, they had an actual date set, where they and the world was gonna end as Jehovah’s Witnesses, you know, the new system would be here, and it would be a paradise and everything would be great.
Danny de Hek 24:00
If, if you were going to give some advice to somebody who was watching this, and they were sort of saying, Well, I’m, I don’t know whether I should leave the Jehovah’s Witness or the other Christian would be as I don’t know how to get started, or I don’t have to deal with my loneliness. What if you got a band aid that you put on straightaway? Hmm. You know,
Wendy Lynn Johnson 24:23
if you’re asking the question, you definitely have reasons that you’re asking it. So I would go with my gut instincts. Most often, your gut is right, and do some research, um, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to have a conversation with you.
Danny de Hek 24:44
And then please do when I finished this, I actually scribe it all into text and when your names mentioned, they link click on the name and it will take you through to your website. So we do that as well because, you know, my motive here is really to actually help people get on with it. Because one thing I’m really happy about is I have got a life and I’ve, I’ve travelled like 30 countries, which we wouldn’t do as a Jehovah’s Witness, you wouldn’t travel, you know, and also, I’ve been in business, you know, and I enjoy business and it’s okay to make money. Because, you know, you can go after the, what is the root of all evilness? Or as King Solomon would say, What was his saying something about having a reward, and full now or whatever it was, you know, striving after money, or things you just weren’t allowed to do as a Jehovah’s Witness as such.
Danny de Hek 25:38
Yeah, it’s kind of like when you go from the Jehovah’s Witness belief, to worldly living, there’s a bridge that some people just really struggle with. And I’ve seen a post just yesterday, and somebody said, I’m giving up, I’m going back to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and ever was writing you go, what are you doing? Don’t do that, you know, don’t give up. And it was just a wee joke of his this guy. And I thought, thank goodness for that. They actually messaged me privately to say, I’m just joking. And I said, Yeah, but there’s something you don’t want to see. Because it’s such a hard thing to get away.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 26:13
It’s triggering for those who have had really traumatic experiences, and a lot of them have had really, really traumatic experiences. Being a Jehovah’s Witness. There’s a lot of real deep trauma that happens. And there’s a lot of paedophilia things that have been come forth in the last years.
Danny de Hek 26:29
So it’s been brilliant. They are in Australia, I think they had over 1000 cases, I think they’ll go back to 1953, which might seem a long time ago. But they’ve had 1000 cases of people who’ve been fiddled with by the elders and I’ve had complaints. And I’ve never even gone to the authorities about it. they’ve handled it within the congregation. And then I think you hit the statue, something change in America where people could go back historic, because after eight years, people couldn’t go back and complain about something that was heaven. So they these kids have been grown up being filled with couldn’t say anything, but they changed it. So they could, I think overcame?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 27:10
Yeah, I, I can’t say that was an experience I had, but I was in meetings where I was asked very graphic questions and, and made to talk about things that were totally inappropriate in front of older men. Yeah, I’ve had those kind of experiences. But I can’t say that I had some of those other types of experiences. But I have friends that have
Danny de Hek 27:34
The same because I got kicked out for being naughty things of the opposite. And I want you to know, the whole details of what I did. And this is probably my, my first my second time I’ve ever done it, and you want me to explain what we actually did.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 27:50
Along with somebody, and they’re asking me and I still I had never been involved with anybody before. So I didn’t even know what the questions meant. They were asking.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 27:58
I was told I was lying. Like, no, I’m not lying. I don’t know anything.
Danny de Hek 28:03
It’s crazy. I haven’t really been outspoken until the last more few months and anything I did a podcast about a year and a half ago about my my life just briefly, but now I’ve gone on to a lot more these Facebook groups such as yours and I reading other people’s stories, it’s just 85% the same stuff going on. And it just seems like I don’t know if you’ve noticed. His his I know the Jehovah’s Witness organisation has actually hasn’t grown in numbers for the first time in years. And I’m just wondering if a lot of this activity and people speaking out about is actually harming the organization’s growth. I know whether the COVID can having to go on to zoom, a lot of them are selling their kingdom halls. And I’m wondering if this is actually a turning point with a Jehovah’s Witnesses will feel that the people the will returning on them? Do you think? Do you think things are changing? Or is it just gonna carry on? Here? We can?
Wendy Lynn Johnson 28:56
I don’t know. That’s a really good question. Because I, you know, I think it’s going to go a little bit of both ways, you’re going to have those that start going away, why, you know, paying attention to the questions that are being brought up. And then you’re going to have those because they’re told to buy them that are rejecting and not listening, because they’re told not to listen to anything from the outside. They’re told not to look up. You know, if I was to go to my father today and say, hey, look, I have all these facts, and lay him out on the table as to what’s going on, he would fold up the paper and say, take this home, I’m not looking at it. Even he wouldn’t even give me give it the time of day because they’re told that that is coming from Satan. So, right. Yeah, so I think there’s gonna be a little bit of both. You’re gonna have those who are curious enough and maybe a little have a little bit more of a rebellious spirit that can see your banana long enough to see how many times they’ve said, Oh, this is the end, like, oh, wait a minute, they’ve said this before. Maybe I should pay attention and look, then you’re gonna have a lot of combination of both. But I do think it’s really important for there to be people out there. that are available to help the ones that do decide to look at it and see how brainwashed they have been.
Danny de Hek 30:08
Yeah. Because you just don’t see it as that when people are not going to the Jehovah’s Witnesses may knock on their door, and somebody says, Oh, I just slammed the door in their face and, and I call them names, I yell at them, and I go, it doesn’t make any difference. Because I used to have that happen to me. And I said, and because I was here, doing God’s work. It wasn’t directed to me it was written to God. So yeah, I have an answer for everything. And when I look at the, you know, how into wound it is that you can do anything to a driver’s retinas. And be like, if you tortured them, they will think that’s all part of God’s approval. And I’ll get resurrected if they die. You know what, you know, if you’re? Yeah, yeah. Well, thank you for coming along. I think people can sense that you will be willing to talk to anyone that’s going through a difficult leaving the Jehovah’s Witness organisation.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 31:04
Yeah. Or any, any type of religious organisation, really, you know, ways of helping anyone that’s leaving any type of organised anything that needs help moving forward.
Danny de Hek 31:19
Somebody who’s been brainwashed, nice to find a way of wiping that slate clean, and life is pretty cool. I mean, I’ve, I’ve actually, I feel like I’ve wasted 23 years of my life getting it started.
Wendy Lynn Johnson 31:36
Left at 30 but the best thing is, you know, I’ve learned to move forward in a positive way. And let go of all the negative things that you really could hang on to the anger and the fear and all the things that guilt, oh, my goodness, some of the guilt that they put on you. So when you learn to deal with that, and leave it behind you, because it’s not going to serve you going forward. That’s where the beauty comes in.
Danny de Hek 32:02
Now, Great, well, thank you for coming along. And I’ll stop the recording if anyone has listened to this. And if you go through the notes, on below, you’ll see a link to Wendy’s website, and also where we talk about the Facebook group (Empowered ex- Jehovah’s Witnesses (Empowered Minds)). I’ll also put a link through to that. So be willing to join it, you asked a couple of basic questions. But there’s a really nice community of people that really sincerely care about you, and they can answer those little questions or those big heavy questions. And so you’re number two on that Facebook group. That’s pretty cool.
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DANNY : DE HEK, “THE CRYPTO PONZI SCHEME AVENGER,“ a nickname given to me by the New York Times. I’m a YOUTUBER, PODCASTER, EDUCATOR and BLOGGER, and this website aims to showcase my passions. I believe in omnipresence!